It’s been a few days since we announced the winners of this year’s Top 100 Language Blogs competition. From all the feedback we got and the blog posts that have been written we are happy to see how much the blog competition is appreciated. But what makes us really happy is that we have brought the language blogger community a little bit closer: Many of you have discovered new blogs, found new friends and shared your ideas e.g. via guest posts. Looking back we can say: Mission accomplished.
However, we also want to take some time to look back and see how we can improve next year. Based on several emails, comments and blog posts we have identified a few discussion points:
– More neutral vote button. Some bloggers feel uncomfortable promoting their own blog and would like a more neutral voting button. So instead of “screaming” ‘Vote for me’ the neutral button would put all the blogs into the center of the readers’ attention. While we think you shouldn’t be ashamed of promoting yourself (after all, it’s your blog and you have put a lot of work into it) we are going to think about how to give a “neutral” voting alternative. (Thanks Kevin for pointing this out)
– Direct contacts. Unfortunately we couldn’t identify all bloggers’ email addresses and names so we reached out via Twitter and blog comments. While some bloggers rather stay incognito generally it is much appreciated to be contacted directly. Looking through 500 blogs manually takes a lot of time and sometimes we just didn’t see the obvious contact address. We are sorry about that and try to be more careful next year.
– User voting not counting enough. We understand that some blogs just got a couple of votes while other got hundreds of votes and still the blog with the lesser amount of votes came in on top. This can be frustrating but we try to balance user votes and ranking criteria to get a diverse and interesting list of blogs. If we just counted user votes the blogs with the largest follower base would come in on top every year – in our view making the competition less exciting.
– User voting counting too much. The other side of the coin and basically the same argument from our side. A large user base reading your blog definitely says something about the quality of your blog. After all, why would so many people read your blog if it was plain boring? User voting counts partially towards the end result but as you can see in the top 100 list many blogs on top didn’t have that many user votes.
– Important blogs missing. Yes, we know that many great blogs are missing. But that will always be the case as we just don’t have the resources to browse the entire web in every possible language. We knew that when we started the competition but we thought that we would catch more and more great blogs every year. This year, we had 495 blogs participating, the highest number ever. Next year, we want to beat that mark and try to get even more great language blogs. It is a joint effort: You – the readers – probably know many interesting blogs so please don’t feel afraid to nominate them. And yes, we find nothing wrong with nominating yourself – maybe you can nominate one or two blogs from your blogroll while you are at it.
Do you have and feedback on how to improve next year? Send me an email (andreas[at]bab.la) or leave a comment.